Published On: Mon, Feb 5th, 2024

SC takes stringent view of Chandigarh Mayoral Polls

New Delhi: Taking a stringent view of the outcomes of the Chandigarh Mayoral polls, the Supreme Court today said that it won’t allow murder of democracy and even added that the returning officer should be prosecuted for what he did. The top court noted that the officer defaced the ballots.

Chandigarh Mayoral election was marred by a controversy

Hearing a plea filed by the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress, the Supreme Court said that the way mayoral polls were held was a mockery of democracy. “Is this the behaviour of the Returning Officer?” asked the top court.

After watching the video of the poll proceedings, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said what the returning officer did ‘was like the murder of democracy’. “It is clearly visible in the video that he is looking into the camera and spoiling the ballot paper…Is this the way he conducts the elections? This is a mockery of democracy. This is a murder of democracy. This man should be prosecuted,” the Chief Justice said.

The apex court also ordered the preservation of the entire record of the election process including ballot papers, videography and other material through the Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The top court also ordered that the ensuing meeting of the Chandigarh Corporation shall be deferred till the next date of hearing.

The Chandigarh Mayoral election was marred by a controversy after the returning officer declared 8 opposition votes invalid and declared BJP candidate as the winner.

The AAP and the Congress, which put up a joint candidate, moved the Supreme Court challenging the outcome of the mayoral polls after they did not get a relief from the Punjab Haryana High Court. BJP nominee Manoj Sonkar was declared the winner of the Chandigarh Mayoral election after he bagged 16 votes against the 12 votes bagged by Congress-AAP candidate Kuldeep Tita. The rendering of 8 votes as invalid led Opposition leaders to allege rigging.

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